MobileTech

Huawei demotes employees for tweeting NYE message from iPhone!

Chinese phone giant Huawei punished two employees for tweeting a New Year’s Day greeting from the company’s official Twitter account using an iPhone.
In an internal memo seen by Reuters, Huawei corporate senior vice president said “the incident caused damage to the Huawei brand.” As a result, two of the Chinese smartphone manufacturer’s employees were demoted one rank and received a monthly cut in pay of 5,000 yuan (approximately $728). One of the employees, Huawei’s digital marketing director, will also see their pay rank frozen for 12 months.
The tweet from iPhone incident occurred when the Huawei’s outsourced social media agency, Sapient, experienced virtual private network (VPN) problems with its desktop computer, according to the memo.
Twitter is blocked in China, making a VPN necessary to access the platform in the country. In order to send the New Year’s message at midnight, an iPhone with a roaming SIM card was used to send the tweet. The memo says that “the incident exposed flaws in our processes and management.”
Twitter had previously removed the source of a tweet from its website and mobile phone app, although some third-party applications still displayed the info. Just last month, however, the microblogging service brought tweet source data back across the platform. Huawei’s tweet publicly displayed “Twitter from iPhone” below the message thanks to this recent Twitter change.
The mistake is said to have occurred due to Huawei’s outsourced social media handler, Sapient, experiencing “VPN problems” on the desktop PC it uses to send out tweets. The issues meant it had to use an iPhone with a roaming SIM card to post the New Year message.
Like many Western services, including Facebook, Twitter is banned in China, forcing people to use VPNs if they want to access the site.
For their mistake, Huawei said in the memo that it had demoted the two employees responsible by one rank and reduced their monthly salaries by 5,000 yuan ($728.27). The pay rank of one of the employees—Huawei’s digital marketing director—will also be frozen for 12 months Sending out a tweet from a competitor’s device is never good, but this faux pas comes at an especially bad time in Chinese-American relations. In addition to the trade war, the US has long accused Huawei of spying on behalf of China, and things reached a head last month when its CFO, Meng Wanzhou, was arrested in Canada at the request of the US government. It’s led to many Chinese companies supporting Huawei by subsidizing employees who purchase devices from the company instead of iPhones.

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